Democrat Wins Town Of Plattsburgh Supervisor Seat
Voters rejected an accountant and turned to a college counselor on election night in the town of Plattsburgh. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the Democrat in the race for the open supervisor seat soundly defeated his Republican challenger.
The results leave no doubt: Democrat Michael Cashman trounced Republican Vasso LaForest to become the new Town of Plattsburgh supervisor.
Unofficial results from the Clinton County Board of Elections show Cashman with a 60 to 39.56 percent win.
Cashman, who is 34, will replace retiring Supervisor Bernie Bassett, a Democrat who has held the post for nearly a decade. Bassett threw his support behind Cashman and at the election night party was extolling his potential. “The departments of the town work together. We collaborate together. We function as a team. We get the big picture about economic growth and development. Mike impressed me from day one with internalizing that concept. You know, Mike’s just going to slide right in there. They’re going to support him and he’s going to support them. So I think he will be good for the town. He’ll be great as a leader of the town to work with the city and the county. And one of the comments I made to him was you just began a very long political career. He’s not going to stop at the town of Plattsburgh. I’m excited that he begins it here.”
Cashman was at the American Legion on election night where he said the campaign had gone well and he had enjoyed meeting voters. He said he is looking forward to beginning the transition and becoming Supervisor. “I will be building a transition team to make sure that when I get sworn into office that I can hit the ground running. Then I’m going to do a second round of my listening tour, wanting to connect with the mayor of the city other municipality leadership, statewide leadership, business leaders, community leaders, etc. So I’m extremely excited but more than excitement I’m a transfer to Plattsburgh. And as a transfer I’m very proud that my roots have grown very deep and Plattsburgh is my forever home. And I’m looking forward to serving it over the next 4 years.”
This was LaForest’s first run for office, although he was appointed to the zoning board about a year and a half ago. At Republican headquarters he said he had hoped for a stronger turnout and is disappointed by the results. “I’m a better man for having run the race and I feel good about that. From the people that we met and the things that we tried to do and hopefully make some changes. But that just wasn’t in the cards this time around so, you know, I’m accepting it and that’s okay. I do think I’m going to stay active with it. It’s really been an eye opener and part of the reason to run was partly just being disappointed the way things have been going for a couple of years. So I do think it’s important to just stay involved and try to get some things changed in our area. And so I plan to be a part of that.”
Cashman, a member of the Town Council, must resign that seat. He will also resign his position at SUNY Plattsburgh where he is currently Assistant Director for Student Involvement. The supervisor position is full-time and pays $69,000. He will assume office on January 1st.